Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Upcoming Events: Begonia Show, Griffith Park Plant Party, Epiphyte Presentation

Before sharing some neat upcoming events, I want to share Jen's very first Youtube video!

I love it!!  Way to go Jen!!!

At least half of her plants are from me (haha j/k?) so I highly recommend subscribing to her channel to learn about some cool plants.

Ok, upcoming events!

Begonia Show/Sale (Facebook post)

When: Aug 24, 9 AM – 4 PM
Where: South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Which are the best Begonias for growing epiphytically??  Let's find out!

Plant Party In The Park (Facebook post)

When: Aug 25, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Where: Griffith Park, 4659 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Bring plants (preferably epiphytes of course) to trade or give away.  Make some new plants friends!

Epiphyte Presentation (Facebook post)

When: Aug 25, 5:00 PM – 06:00 PM
Where: Planta Nursery, 6011 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

My friend Joel is going to give a talk about epiphytes.  Way to go Joel!!  Tickets cost $5.

Now some pics of Begonias growing epiphytically.  Here's a Begonia listada that I recently mounted...

I received my piece from Scadoxus, and she received hers from Candy and Norm.  It is mounted with a Scindapsus pictus from Jen, an Asplenium from Fernando, and a Peperomia Pixie Lime from Bonnie.

Am I the only person in the world trying to experiment with growing Begonias epiphytically?  Nope!  Andy's Orchids has a couple...

Begonia prismatocarpa!

Begonia dregei.

Want to see more pics from Andy's Orchids?  Here you go.

If you have tried Begonias epiphytically then please let me know!  And hopefully I will see you at an upcoming event!

Thanks Randy for confirming the Begonia IDs! 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Culver City Succulent and Bromeliad Show 2019

Before I share some show pics, I'd like to mention that I finally met my favorite Ficus friend Kyle!!!  We've been online plant friends for nearly 20 years and a couple weeks ago we met at the LA Arboretum.  Scadoxus joined us and the three of us had a great time.  It was surreal meeting Kyle in person after having known him online for so many years.  One big difference is that he's so much funnier in person.  His humor is... subtle?  Not exactly sure how to describe it, but I love it.   

I'm so happy that Kyle is no longer on my list of plant friends that I'd love to actually meet in person.  Two people who are still on this list are Carlos in Brazil (flickr) and Erik in Australia (flickr).  Both of them joined the tropical plant lovers Facebook group that Kyle recently created!  Yay!!!  Now I'm two people closer to realizing my dream of all my plant friends being friends with each other.  I have this very bright idea that, the better connected my plant friends are to each other, the more awesome the outcome.  We can create a huge and incredibly dense network that will quickly capture all the best plants and plant ideas. 

With this in mind, my favorite thing about the show was that several of my plant friends got to meet each other for the first time!  For example, Monica and Sarah met, Dave and Ulysses met,  Rich and Steve met and so on.  Each meeting really deserves its own blog entry!

I enjoyed the show itself and took several pics of the show plants.  Unfortunately, I'm not happy with how many of the pics turned out (insert typical excuses here... ie poor lighting), but I figure that even a poor pic of a great plant is better than nothing.  Some of my motivation in sharing the pics is that I've got a plant friend, not going to mention any names, *cough* Allison *cough*, who doesn't think that bromeliads are so wonderful.  Yikes!  Unfortunately, she wasn't able to make it to the show, so figured it might be worthwhile to bring the show to her, and to you too! 

Cyrtanthus elatus x montanus

This wasn't in the show, it was in the sales area for $20.  Since Scadoxus loves bulbs, but wasn't at the show yet, I texted her a pic and asked if she wanted it.  She replied asking if it had a pretty flower.  Heh.  Steve ended up buying it and then later on when I searched my gmail for "Cyrtanthus" I learned that, not too long ago, Shawn had given me a small bulb of this species and I had given it to Scadoxus.  Sheesh.  There's actually a Cyrtanthus epiphyticus!  Yes, I already tried it epiphytically and sadly it didn't survive.  It was a long time ago though, so maybe it was before I started using the quality New Zealand Sphagnum moss for certain plants.  I haven't tried many bulbs epiphytically but so far the biggest winner by far is the pregnant onion (Albuca bracteata). 

Hydnophytum formicarum

This is a really cool epiphyte that has a big caudex that, in nature, provides a home for ants.  In this case we get a peak inside the caudex.  Exhibited by Laurel Woodley who I was lucky enough to chat with.  In 2013 I took a pic of the same plant at the same show.  She brings it inside during the winter.  I've been growing a related species, Myrmecodia beccarii, outside year around since 2012.  It is still small though because I have it on a small mount without much moss and it probably doesn't get as much water as it would like during the summer.  Maybe I should auction it off at the upcoming VGT plant share

Dave has been growing Myrmecodia platytyrea entirely outside (with protection from the rain) for a few years in Eagle Rock...

Maybe it's the biggest epiphytic ant plant in the Rubiaceae family that is growing outside year around in California?  Do you know of a bigger one?  If you're interested in learning more about this species I highly recommend checking out the ant-plant forum

Back to the show...

Sedum torulosum

Also exhibited by Laurel Woodley.  For a while I've really appreciated the "treelike" Sedums and Crassulas.  For example, check out Sedum dendroideum ‘Colossus’.  Do you see the picture of Myron Kimnach standing next to it??  Woah!!  Mine is around 3', I should really bring some cuttings to the plant share. 

Sinningia polyantha

Similar to the Sinningia piresiana growing on my tree, but much taller.  Yes, I sincerely do wish that I had learned about Gesneriads a whole lot earlier!

Aeonium Bing Thing

Aeonium Bing Thing = (tabuliforme ×  arboreum Zwartkop) × sedifolium.  This is a crazy cool cross made by John Trager.  A. sedifolium is super tiny!  I'm very glad that Nels Christianson decided to enter this plant into the show!  Remind me to ask him if he'd be willing to trade a cutting of it for something.  I'd also be happy to have some seeds of it, because I'd be very curious to see how much variation there would be among the seedlings. 

Peperomia Amigo Marcello

Woah!  Is this the right name??  I've been calling this Peperomia Elmer Lorenz for years, because that's who gave it to me, but he didn't know the name.  This Peperomia does great epiphytically. 

Euphorbia sp

Unreal!!  Wish that the pic was clearer!  Anybody know which species it is? 

Rebutia flavistyla

Exhibited by Christine Kaunitz.  I'd love to see this species growing and blooming on a tree! 

Pelargonium punctatum

This one stunned Fernando.  Heh.  Stunned me too!  This would look amazing on a tree!  He is actually growing Pelargonium tetragonum epiphytically.

Vriesea Strawberry

Dang, I'm so disappointed that my picture failed to capture the luminescent glow of this bromeliad!  :( 

Vriesea Strawberry

Closer pic. 

Billbergia Casa Blanca

Fun foliage!

Billbergia Mystic Torch

Billbergia Mystic Torch = (Pink Champagne x Arriba) x Domingos Martins.  More funner foliage? 

Epiphytically Enhanced Branch

Tillandsia albertiana, Maxillaria tenuifolia (?), Crassula (which one?), Ledebouria socialis, Hoya serpens, Rhipsalis... wow!!  Exhibited by James W Schumacher.  I'd sure like to make friends with this guy!!

Tillandsia duratii

This is the bigger variety.  The sequentially opening flowers are relatively large and very fragrant.  I think they smell kinda like grape kool-aid.  Everybody should grow this species.  Exhibited by ESSC member Rich Fleg! 

Tillandsia novakii

So so so so impressive!!!!   Several years ago I first saw this species at the Conservatory of Flowers and instantly loved it.  Fortunately, this one was exhibited by ESSC member Sarah de Heras, so hopefully there will be seeds available to spread around! 

Tillandsia novakii

I volunteered Ulysses to provide some scale.   Thanks bro, sorry about the bad pic!  :( 

Tillandsia sp

Also exhibited by Sarah de Heras.  Love it!  Hopefully she will place it next to the Tillandsia novakii so that the hummingbirds can cross-pollinate them. 

Tillandsia prodigiosa

Also exhibited by Sarah de Heras!  Not the best pic, and the spike isn't fully developed, but everybody should know about this Tillandsia.  Check out the Google Image search results for this species.  One sad thing about this species is that it is monocarpic!  Ugh.  Hopefully it will produce lots of seeds though. 

Scadoxus' haul box, it was the prettiest one that I ever did see!  I'll share the list later on. 

If you live in the Los Angeles area and love plants then be sure to join Village Green Thumbs!  And if you live outside of the LA area and love tropical plants, then be sure to join Tropical Plant Lovers!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019


I'm all about elevating the discourse but... rules have exceptions.

Titania McGrath is funny.  I wanted to share this pic in this thread.  In another thread I want to share a photo of Dischidia formosana growing epiphytically on my tree fern (VGT post for more info).

In a third thread I want to share this photo of Scadoxus' Scadoxus puniceus (VGT post)...

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dead Ends

This year my Aloe tenuior hybrid is blooming its head off...

It is currently pushing out two new spikes. 

Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, so far it hasn't produced any seed pods.  Same thing last year, which was the first year it bloomed.  I'm guessing that it is sterile. 

What about the pollen?  So far I haven't seen any.  But maybe that's because the hummingbirds seem to visit this Aloe every 5 minutes. 

This Aloe sure does produce a lot of offshoots though.  Right now the main branch is around 4' tall and its one head is just starting to become two.  The branch still needs to be propped up but I'm hoping that it will thicken with age and then small orchids and Tillandsias can be attached to it. 

Here's a pic of Myrmecophila tibicinis attached to my Aloe thraskii...

I posted it in the Village Green Thumb Facebook group.  Julia Ba shared a photo of a phorobana that she saw at a show...

Phorobanas are SOOOOOOO good!!!

A few days ago I joined the Alhambra Plant Swap FB group and offered offshoots of my Aloe tenuior hybrid (it's a closed group). 

What else?  This last Sunday Scadoxus and I attended a plant swap at Planta Nursery in Eagle Rock.  We had a great time.   

Friday, December 7, 2018

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Live Arts

Scadoxus and I visited Live Art Plantscapes this past Monday and saw some really neat plants.  We learned that the nursery is giving away 150 queen palms because they don't have the space for them in their new location.  The palms are in 30" boxes and are 20 feet tall.  If you want any you would have to pick them up in Northridge by December 31.

Palms make great hosts for orchids, bromeliads and other epiphytes.

Haul from Live Art Plantscapes...

Clockwise from top right...

Neoregelia Zoe
Neoregelia More Pepper Please
Neoregelia ampullacea
Neoregelia Medusa

Also saw this nice NOID Euphorbia...

It would potentially make a great phorobana.

Update: It's Euphorbia punicea... Jamaican Poinsettia

Friday, October 12, 2018

Village Green Plant Swap

On 21 October 2018 there will be a plant swap at Village Green.  I plan to attend!  There are lots... and lots... of plants that I'd like to share with others.  The question is... which plants are people interested in?  I'll post potential plants in this entry and in the Village Green Thumbs (VGT) group.  If you would like me to bring a plant for you then please let me know!


When I sow seeds I usually sow the seeds of a few different plants in the same pot.  This hedges my bets that something will germinate.  Usually there's decent germination so pretty much all the seedling pots will need to be divided.  The expectation is that people who receive a community pot (compot) will share any extra seedlings with other VGTs.  There's also the expectation that updates on the seedlings will be shared in the VGT Facebook group.  It will be very interesting, and informative, to see how much variation there is among the siblings.

Hoya Seedlings

These seedlings are from seeds that Tom gave me when we visited him in August.  I sowed the seeds on 15 Aug.  Here's a pic of the mother plant's buds, leaves and seeds...

Hoya Seeds

Here's a pic of the flowers...

Hoya Flowers

Does anybody recognize it?

Each pot might have the following seedlings...

Vriesea - John Arden hybrid (seeds from Sarah)
Anthurium schlechtendalii (seeds from Sarah)
Echeveria rosea

The Best Orchid Companion

Columnea Elmer Lorenz

Not sure what its "real" name is... maybe it's Columnea crassifolia?  The leaves are certainly very succulent... for a Columnea.  My plant mentor Elmer Lorenz gave it to me several years ago and I've been really happy with it.  This epiphyte is exceptional because it stays in bloom for almost the entire year.   My friend Dave says the same is true of Columnea schiedeana.  I wonder which one would grow the best epiphytically.

Mixed Seedlings 5 Aug

I have 5 hanging baskets/pots that might contain the following seedlings...

Anthurium schlechtendalii (from Sarah)
Begonias cane type including Mabel's front porch (from Chris)
Echeveria ballsii - might be crosses with Echeveria macdougallii
Echeveria rosea
Kalanchoe uniflora
Orchid - most likely reed stem Epidendrum
Sinningia cardinalis - might be crosses with Sinningia leucotricha (from Michelle)
Vriesea - John Arden hybrid (from Sarah)

Quite a few of the seeds still haven't germinated. 

Mixed Seedlings 9 July 

I have 12 pots that might contain the following seedlings...

Begonia NOID
Begonia thiemei/carolineifolia (from Fernando)
Bletilla striata (from Fernando)
Echeveria (gibbiflora x rosea?)
Fern gametophytes/sporelings (from Monica)
Ruellia brevifolia
Ruellia elegans

More seedlings to follow!  Watch this space and the VGT Facebook group!


Lemmaphyllum microphyllum

This miniature fern from Japan is growing on a big bunch of New Zealand Sphagnum moss around three stories up on my tree.  Here's a closer pic...

I have 18 pots with small divisions of this fern.  The pots might also include small seedlings of the following...

Sinningia piresiana (my favorite Sinningia)
Vriesea John Arden hybrid (from Sarah)
Aloe hybrid (distans x bainesii?)
Aloe pluridens (maybe crossed with variegated arborescens)
Aloe nyeriensis (maybe crossed with kedongensis)
Aloe kedongensis (maybe crossed with nyeriensis)

The pots might also contain gametophytes of the following...

Dicksonia antartica
Cyathea australis
Blechnum nudum
Todea barbara
Lemmaphyllum microphyllum
Microsorum punctatum

The spore from the first four are from Laura and Patrick.

Begonia NOID

I grew this from some really old seed... does anybody recognize it?  You can't quite tell from the photos but the leaves and stems are kinda fuzzy.  I refer to it as my "Burnt" Begonia because it grew from its seedling pot into the lamp and its leaves would get singed.

Aloe cameronii

If it gets enough light this Aloe will color up nicely when it's cold/thirsty.

Tillandsia albertiana

It doesn't seem like there are many Tillandsias with red flowers.  In the pic you can see Tillandsia albertiana blooming on my tree.  When I visited Pat he shared a nice big clump with me, so I have extras available if anybody is interested.

More plants to follow!  Watch this space and the VGT Facebook group!


Plants that easily grow from cuttings are the best.

Kalanchoe uniflora Growing Epiphytically

Kalanchoe uniflora

My favorite Kalanchoe!

Clerodendrum ugandense

Also known as Rotheca myricoides 'Ugandense'.

Solandra maxima

Commonly known as the Cup of Gold vine.

Epiphyllum oxypetalum

If you pollinate the flowers they will produce a fruit that is a little smaller than a dragon fruit.  Also, the flower petals are edible, they can be used for soups or salads.  The plant itself does not have any spines.

Selenicereus macdonaldiae

This climbing cactus produces what might be the largest cactus flower.  The stems have spines on them.

Hylocereus costaricensis

Dragonfruit!  This variety has red flesh.  The plant has spines and wants to climb.  Needs sun.

More cuttings to follow!  Watch this space and the VGT Facebook group!


Delicious Epiphyllum

Julia shared an Epiphyllum fruit with me and it was so tasty that I very reluctantly decided to stop eating it and save the seeds. 


Pink Plumeria Tree

Scadoxus took this photo of a big Plumeria tree at Gary's place.  She happened to spot a seed pod which he gave to me.  I've sown a few of the seeds and they germinate pretty quickly.

More seeds to follow!  Watch this space and the VGT Facebook group!